Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – The Osseo Fairchild School District’s Agriculture Department is getting some upgrades. Amelia Hayden, the agriculture teacher for the district won a 20-thousand-dollar grant from CHS Incorporated and plans to make some changes and improvements to the department.

“Number one on the agenda is to fix our greenhouse. Right now, it’s got a broken ventilation system and cooling system that really doesn’t allow us to grow plants and it outside of the winter months.”

Hayden says she also wants to use the money to provide opportunities for her students to use the equipment used in the agriculture industry.

“If students can be working with technologies and innovations that are cutting edge for the agriculture industry and are going to be the materials and tools that they’re using, should they pursue careers and also feel more confident going into the industry.”

The superintendent of the Osseo Fairchild School District agrees, saying these opportunities are great for the students.

“Our future depends on our students. And the more exposure that we can have and give them in areas of agriculture, industry, and different career pathways; there are so many opportunities in the agriculture field that our teacher wants to expose them to. And this grant is going to allow her to do that.”

The grant is meant to implement projects that will engage students in agriculture education, but Hayden says it will do more than that. It will also help the future of agriculture in the state.

“It really is a foundational industry that’s the backbone of Wisconsin. These students and agriculture education classes, both in my classroom and across the state, are going to be the next generation of leaders for our communities because of their agricultural background and involvement.”

Hayden says more than 150 students will use the new equipment and materials purchased with this grant to perform plant science, gene editing, and other tasks in the classroom.